Articles on vegetarianism

Is Vegetarian Diet Better?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
A Vegetarian diet basically comprises abstaining from the consumption of red meat, poultry, seafood and meat/flesh of any other animal. There are a lot of proponents of vegetarianism coming up across the world. In fact, many celebrities and public figures have turned vegetarian and support as voluntary ambassadors of the cause. Let’s figure out whether a vegetarian diet is healthier than a non-vegetarian diet. We gain a better understanding by analyzing certain research studies by health scientists. According to one such study and analysis; Vegetarians seem to have lower blood pressure.The question that arises is whether adopting a vegetarian diet would be a useful strategy for lowering blood pressure. People who are on a vegetarian diet have lower BMI in comparison to people who are omnivorous, because vegetarian diets have higher fiber and lower fat content.Another reason can be that vegetarian diets are lower than omnivorous diets in saturated fatty acids and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are linked with lower blood pressure. Also, vegetarians usually have lower blood viscosity. This could affect their blood pressure positively.According to another research from Loma Linda University published in the journal Diabetes Care, vegetarians experience a 36 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndromes than non-vegetarians. Researchers have done their studies on certain subjects by segregating them into non veg eaters and vegetarian eaters and found that a percentage of the participants, who were in basically vegetarians, had a lower risk of metabolic syndromes than non-vegetarians. “This work again shows that diet improves many of the main cardiovascular risk factors that are part of metabolic syndrome," says Gary Fraser, MD, PhD, principal investigator of Adventist Health Study 2. "Trending toward a plant-based diet is a sensible choice."However, recent research has also focused on the presence of a variety of specific nutrients in plant foods that have health-promoting qualities.Fiber: Plant foods such as whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts provide dietary fiber. High intake of dietary fiber may reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, premenstrual syndrome, and colon cancer.Antioxidants: Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids, all of which act as antioxidants, protecting your cells from the damaging effects of free radicalsPhytonutrients: Plant foods contain a variety of unique nutrients such as phytoestrogens, indoles, isothiocyanates, and flavonoids. Emerging research indicates that these nutrients may help in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases.Who BenefitsA vegetarian diet may be especially beneficial for overweight individuals, as well as for women with premenstrual syndrome and individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease.

Building Muscles on a Vegetarian Diet? It's Possible!

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
With celebrities like NFL running back Adrian Foster and former President Bill Clinton embracing a vegan lifestyle, many people are swearing by the benefits of plant-based nutrition.So, what exactly is the answer to this peculiar question: is it possible to build muscles on a vegetarian diet? YES, IT IS! Eating meat to go big is so last generation. Today, putting together together a mass-gaining meal plan based on plant foods should be done wisely and strategically. A calorie surplus from healthy whole food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans/nuts, and getting plenty of protein is the way to go. It doesn't matter whether the source of protein is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. A vegetarian diet can provide adequate proteins from dairy foods, nuts like almonds, dals and pulses. Secondly, a lot of weight training goes into building of muscles. For this adequate energy is needed which can come from carbohydrates and fats. It's best to consult with a sports nutritionist or a qualified dietitian before you make unhealthy choices to build muscles.Building muscles on a vegetarian diet can be a bit challenging compared to building muscles on meat, but surely it is not impossible. A few good examples from the world of our Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar should be proof enough that muscles can be built with veg food. However, the problem arises due to the poor choices most vegetarians make. Most vegetarian diets lack sufficient protein and are heavy on the carbs, think the typical Indian meal of rice and potatoes. A healthy veg diet to build muscles should include a variety of dal,with combination of cereals and pulses; dairy products, and nuts. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet and eat sufficient calories to build muscles. Along with the protein be sure to get quality fats like coconut oil, ghee, butter, etc for healthy hormone production. Without adequate fat in your diet, the body will not produce enough testosterone to build muscle.

Why Vegetarians Might Live Longer?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Vegetarians might live longer, according to a new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, “Eating a vegetarian diet may be associated with living longer”.Being vegetarian is healthy but sometimes just eating vegetarian food might not be enough. Though a vegetarian diet is balanced and contains most of the essential nutrients, there might be some micro nutrients missing from the otherwise healthy and light diet, for eg., Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Heme(iron), etc.Here are some of the benefits of having a vegetarian diet: 1. Lowers Blood pressure The ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat (P/S ratio) in the diet may affect blood pressure. Increasing the P/S ratio to 1 or more with approximately 25% of energy as fat has been associated with low blood pressure in hypertensive patients. This effect appears to be independent of sodium balance or body weight. This mechanism of blood pressure lowering effects is thought to involve prostaglandin metabolism.2. Lowers the risk of heart diseases Low glycemic index diets may preserve HDL cholesterol and thus have a potentially positive effect in reducing CHD risk. They may reduce plasma fatty acids and may suppress production of release of signaling hormones from adipose tissue, reversing dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. The foods are slowly absorbed and have metabolic benefits which decrease the risk of CHD.3. Lowers the risk of cancer Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing cancer causing free radicals from causing damage. Antioxidants are also known as “free radical scavengers”. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants, which include beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E (alpha-tocopherol).4. Lowers the risk of diabetes Vegetarian diets are high in fiber, which slows down the emptying of the stomach and delays intestinal transit. This reduces the rate of glucose absorption, lowers blood sugar rise, and decreases urinary glucose excretion.5. Helps control your weight Vegetarian diets are high in fiber, low on the glycemic index and low in calorie density, which helps you fill your appetite and also provides satiety. Higher intake of vegetarian food may help you cut calories. Due to slower rate of digestion and absorption in the small intestine, nutrient receptors in the gastro-intestinal tract are stimulated for a longer period of time, resulting in higher satiety levels.Being on a vegetarian diet won’t help you get all the essential nutrients that your body requires. According to the food guide pyramid, intake of animal foods like eggs/chicken/fish should be 2-3 servings a day to make up for the nutrients lacking in vegetarian diets.

Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
What’s that on the telly? It’s an angel sent from GodGrowing in my belly…!!Like a sweet pea in a pod(Malissa  Hatcher)Even though everyone will advise you to eat for two, the average woman does not need any extra calories during the first six months of pregnancy. Your body actually becomes more efficient at extracting the required energy and nutrients from your diet when you're expecting a baby. Even in the last few months, you only need about 200 extra calories per day.Many vegetarian pregnant women worry about the effect their diet may have on their developing baby during pregnancy. However, with careful meal planning, there may be no need for concern."Vegetarian pregnancy diet can provide the mother and baby with all the proper nutrients they need," says Rachele Dependahl, RD, a dietitian at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills, Calif.These nine months may be the most challenging months of your life. With your body undergoing a number of changes, you need to be extra careful about yourself as well as your surroundings. And watching your vegetarian pregnancy diet should be on top of your top list.The Pros of  Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet -There are many positive aspects to maintaining a vegetarian diet during pregnancy. For instance, vegetarian sources of protein are easier on the kidneys. And being a vegetarian can help keep tooth decay — a common problem during pregnancy — at bay. In addition, vegetarian eating, in general, lowers the risk of the following conditions:- Obesity- Hypertension- Constipation- Heart disease- Type 2 diabetes- Cancer- GallstonesAnother plus to being a vegetarian, says Martha K. Grodrian, RD, a nutrition therapist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, is that "most vegetarian women eat fewer junk foods and a more nutritious diet."The Cons Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet -A vegetarian diet during pregnancy can be a healthy option, though it requires a little more effort."It may take more work and effective meal planning to follow a vegetarian diet that is healthy during pregnancy," says Grodrian. In general, the more foods a vegetarian omits from the diet, the more difficult it is to meet nutrient needs." However, dietary supplements may be able to fill the void.A lacto-ovo vegetarian (one who also eats dairy and eggs) can get all the nutrients she needs for a healthy pregnancy through diet and a multivitamin/mineral supplements. A vegan, on the other hand, who avoids all animal products, will need to take supplements of vitamin B12 and iron and might want to take calcium, zinc, and vitamin D, too.Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet - Nutritional GuidelinesNutritional guidelines for pregnant vegetarians are the same as for non-vegetarian women who are expecting. "All pregnant women need additional iron, calcium, folate, essential fatty acids such as DHA (which can be obtained in a vegetarian form), zinc, protein, and 200 to 300 calories more than pre-pregnancy," says Grodrian.Specifically, vegetarian pregnancy diet should include  the following:- Six to eleven  servings per day of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta (choosing whole grain when possible)- Four to five servings per day of vegetables. Four or more servings of fruits- Eight servings of milk and milk alternatives (one cup of cooked kidney beans as a milk alternative, for instance).- Three to four servings of beans and bean alternatives.- Two servings of omega-3 fats for DHA (found in flax-seed oil, walnuts, tofu, and omega-3 fortified eggs, among other places).- Fats, sweets, and junk food should be eaten sparinglyPregnant women should be careful to avoid the following foods:- Unpasteurized soft cheeses (such as brie, Camembert, and feta) and unpasteurized milk, because they carry the risk of listeriosis (a food-borne illness caused by bacteria).- Raw vegetable sprouts and fresh unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices, which can contain bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.

Problem With Vegetarian Diets

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Being vegetarian is healthy but sometimes just eating vegetarian food might not be enough. Though a vegetarian diet is balanced and contains most of the essential nutrients there might be some micro nutrients missing from the otherwise healthy diet.Vegetarian sources might not be able to meet your daily nutrient requirement especially if you already have a deficiency or don’t consume supplements. The following are the most common micro nutrients that may be lacking in a vegetarian diet.Vitamin B12: B12 is created by a particular type of bacteria that’s mainly found in the digestive tracts of animals, which means foods like milk, eggs, meat, and fish are the major dietary sources of the vitamin. All the Vitamin B12 found in the nature is synthesized by micro-organisms. The vitamin is absent in plant foods. Vegan diets or a strict vegetarian have the highest risk of deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a number of problems, including weakness, tiredness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, poor memory, and megaloblastic anemia.Vitamin D: There are two major types of vitamin D:Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) – which is synthesized by plants and is not produced by the human body.Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – which is made in large quantities in the skin when sunlight strikes bare skin. It can also be ingested from animal sources.Vitamin D3 is approximately three times more effective at maintaining serum concentrations because the binding protein has a higher affinity to vitamin D3 than vitamin D2. This allows vitamin D3 to reside in the circulatory system longer and increase the concentration to sufficient levels more quickly.Iron (Heme): Iron is essential for health and transporting oxygen. A deficiency in iron causes fatigue and decreased immune function. There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in animal foods. Heme iron, derived from the hemoglobin and myoglobin is found in meat tissue. Heme Iron is useful in the production of Red Blood Cells in humans. The iron absorption from heme iron ranges from 15%-35% while the absorption from non-heme iron is only 2%-20%. Evidence does show that body iron stores in vegetarians do tend to be lower. Meat, fish, poultry and vitamin C improve the absorption of non-heme iron.

Vegan Diets in a Nutshell

Mr. Kaleem Mohammed, Physiotherapist
Plant-Based diets are popular. Reasons for following a plant-based diet are varied but include health benefits, such as reducing your risk of major disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. A vegan diet is a meal plan made up of plant-based food. These include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Healthy vegan diets are abundant with vitamins C, B1 and E, magnesium, folic acid and iron while also being low in cholesterol and saturated fats.A vegan diet can decrease the risk of mortality from conditions such as:Type 2 diabetesHypertensionStrokeObesityCardiovascular diseaseIschemic heart diseaseSome cancers including prostate and colon cancer1. To lose weight or slim down plant-based food works greatWhen you cut out animal products, you will find that it is easier to stay slim as you are not consuming high amounts of saturated fats from meat and dairy products. These are the top weight loss vegetarian foods; dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, soya products and beans, cereals and grains, fruits.2. Vegan diet is healthyVegetarians have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure (B.P), a lower rate of type 2 diabetes, low body mass index, a lower risk of death from heart diseases and cancer rates. Science and research confirm that you do not need meat to be healthy at all, in fact, in fact, statistics point to quite the opposite.3. Going vegan can improve your sports skills, not weaken itWhat you may not be aware of is just how many successful athletes are vegan. You may be familiar with the name; Anil Kumble is recognized as Indian cricket spin legend. He entered the record books by capturing all 10 Pakistani wickets. India won many test matches with his magical spin bowling.4. Consuming vegan diet boosts your immunity and is anti-cancerSince vegetables and fruits are rich in super nutrients, and many have anti-oxidant purposes, they can boost the immune system and help the body fight against the disease. 5. Vegans are more beautifulVegans who consume a healthy amount of vegetables and fruits are feeding and nurturing the health of their hair, skin and nails meaning that they glow with health.6. Plant-based or vegan diet help your arthritisEliminating dairy consumption alleviating the symptoms associated with arthritis for a long time, but a new study by the Stockholm Karolinska University shows that a combination of gluten-free and vegetarian diets improves the health of those who are suffering from R.A (rheumatoid arthritis) very efficiently.7. You will live longerMany studies show that those following a vegetarian or vegan diet will live an average of 3 to 6 years longer than those who do not.8. No bad breath and less body odourEliminating dairy and non-veg from your diet significantly reduces body odour, and vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath.

Vegan Diet

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
So what is a Vegan Diet:The new Vegan Diet is becoming the hottest trend in the society.So who are these Vegan People and what is a vegan diet?All the answers are here.Vegan people don’t include chicken, fish and meat in their diet. They only eat fruits and vegetables, without using any animal products and by products like dairy or eggs.  Vegan people do not use animal by products like honey ,skin,leather,wool etc.They have their own environmental, ethical and health reasons why they live like this. The Vegan diet is the diverse. It contains mainly plant based produce like green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. The vegan Diet contains all the necessary dietary factors like:Protein: Vegans get their Proteins from lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli, kale.Fat:Vegan Diet has no cholesterol and artificial fats Hence Vegan Diet has been proven helpful in Cardiovascular diseases .Their natural fats include oils, margarine, nuts, nut butters, seed butters, avocado.Calcium:Vegans do not eat calcium products derived from animals so their source of calcium are:dark green vegetables, tofu made with calcium sulfate, calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice, okra, turnip greens, soybeans, almond butter, broccoli, bok -choy, commercial soy yogurt.Vitamins:Iron: Beans and dark green leafy vegetables like Spinach, are  good sources of Iron. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron.Zinc:Grains ,Legumes and Nuts are good source of zinc and should be induced in vegan diet.Dairy produce replacements:The following substitutions can be made for dairy products:Soy milk, rice milk, potato milk, nut milk, or water (in some recipes) may be used.Buttermilk can be replaced with soured soy or rice milk. Soy cheese available in health food stores. Crumbled tofu can be substituted for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.

Pregnancy Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase in a woman's life. It brings both emotional and physiological changes as well as it also poses extra demands on the body. In this phase the body needs extra nutrition for the developing fetus, for pregnant woman herself and also the lactation period to follow. Pregnancy Diet must be full of nutrition and healthy also.Importance of Nutrition in The Diet in PregnancyThese nutritional demands have to be met for a healthy child and mother because as the week progresses the organs and other system of the fetus start developing in mother’s womb and thus the energy used to create these systems (which actually comes from the energy and nutrients in the mother's circulation, and around the lining of the womb) also starts to increase. The table below highlights the nutrients, its importance and food sources which should be included in a women's pregnancy diet -NUTRIENTSIMPORTANCEFOOD SOURCES Protein cell growth and blood productionlean meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, beans, tofuCarbohydrates daily energy productionbreads, cereals, rice, fruits, vegetablesCalcium strong bones and teeth, muscle contraction, nerve function milk, cheese, yogurt, spinachIronred blood cell production (to prevent anemia)All green leafy vegetables e.g. spinach, methi and whole-grain cerealsVitamin A healthy skin, good eyesight, growing bonescarrots, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoesVitamin C healthy gums, teeth, and bones; assistance with iron absorption citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, amla, guavasVitamin B6 red blood cell formation; effective use of protein, fat, and carbohydratespork, ham, whole-grain cereals, bananasVitamin B12 formation of red blood cells, maintaining nervous system healthmeat, fish, poultry, milk(Note: vegetarians who don't eat dairy products need supplemental B12)Vitamin D healthy bones and teeth; aids absorption of calcium fortified milk, dairy products, cereals, and breadsFolic acid blood and protein production, effective enzyme function green leafy vegetables, dark yellow fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, nutsFatbody energy stores meat, whole-milk dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, margarine, vegetable oils(Note: limit fat intake to 30% or less of your total daily calorie intakeRecommended Nutrients in The Diet in PregnancyNutrientRecommendation (Extra = Above RDA)EnergyIncrease by 300 kcal (840 kJ) per day. Certain guidelines according to trimester.1st trimester (1 to 12 weeks) - 10 kcals/day 2nd trimester (13 to 27 weeks) - 90 kcals/day 3rd trimester (27 to 40 weeks) - 200 kcals /day.ProteinsExtra 15 gms per dayThiaminIncrease in line with energy; increase by 0.1 mg per dayRiboflavinNeeded for tissue growth; extra 0.3 mg per dayNiacinRegular supplementation/diet of substance. No increase required.FolateMaintain plasma levels; extra 100 µg per dayVitamin CReplenish drained maternal stores; extra 120 mg per dayVitamin DReplenish plasma levels of vitamin 10 µg per day.CalciumNeeds no increaseIronExtra 3 mg per day neededMagnesium, zinc, and copperNormal supplementation or consumption.IodineExtra 100 µg per day.Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy- Skip aerated or caffeine based beverages like coffee, tea and colas. Too much caffeine may affect the growth of baby. A recent study said that pregnant women who consume even about a cup of coffee everyday are at a higher risk of giving birth to an underweight baby.- Avoid eating foods that have been prepared with maida.- Try and cut down on eating foods that are high in sugar content.- Sea-food that is high in mercury should be strictly avoided. Swordfish, shark and king mackerel are among these. Raw fish may contain listeria, a bacteria that can cause food poisoning. While canned seafood is considered safe, skip smoked or frozen seafood like oysters, sushi, sashimi, and smoked salmon.- Unpasteurized milk may contain listeria, which can cross the placenta and lead to infection or blood poisoning in the baby. Ensure that the milk you drink is pasteurized.- Stay away from mould-ripened cheese (cheese that has a blue vein in it) like brie or camembert. Make sure you cook raw eggs. When the eggs are cooked, see that the yolk and white are firm.- Avoid the consumption of smoking and drinking in day to day routine.Healthy Pregnancy Diet Tips:-- Have a piece of fresh fruit for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, instead of reaching for chocolates or biscuits.- By carrying a small bottle of water when you are out ensures you are well hydrated, and not tempted by sugary soft drinks.- Each week, prepare a couple of meals using beans, lentils and pulses.- Add in your diet different healthy grains, such as barley, couscous or brown rice, in order to give variety to your favorite recipes.- Choose low-fat dairy productsIt is important to note that being pregnant doesn't indicate that the mother to be has to consume food for two individuals, as she is supporting a life within her. The key to a healthy pregnancy is to consume a balanced diet with light and frequent meals throughout, and to regularly take the supplements or medicines prescribed by the doctor. One should also try, and be active, for e.g., go for walks or light swimming or do pregnancy specific yoga [under supervision].

All About Vegan Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines.A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits and the nearly infinite number of foods made by combining them.Difference between Vegetarian and a Vegan -Some people may disagree with the meaning of vegetarianism. The general interpretation is that a vegan will not consume any foods of animal origin, not even honey, while a vegetarian might consume eggs (ovo-vegetarian), or dairy (lacto-vegetarian).The three main reasons people adopt veganism are -1) Protecting AnimalsVegans do not consume or use dairy products or eggs even though doing so would not kill the animal. Part of the reason is a belief in the absolute right of animals to exist freely without human interference.2) EnvironmentA vegan believes that producing food through animal farming is inefficient, because animal feed production takes up a lot of land, fertilizer, water, and other resources - resources that could be used for feeding humans.3) HealthEating too much of animal fats (mainly red meats) and too much of animal proteins has been shown in studies to raise a person´s risk of developing cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, and a number of other illnesses and conditions.Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain no cholesterol and are low in fat, especially saturated fats. They are also high in fiber and other nutrients.Advantages of Vegan Diet -Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fibre, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phyto-chemicals, and lower in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol. They may help lower blood pressure and increases anti-oxidant intake. But you should check for the salt and potassium content, as you’ll likely to get more potassium than most.Disadvantages of Vegan Diet -Nutritionally animal foods too have their benefits. They are excellent source of complete protein, containing all the amino acids that human body needs to develop and maintain muscles. They are also excellent source of heme iron (which is very readily absorbed by the body) and Vitamin B12. B12 is critical for life and isn't found in any amount in plants (except some types of algae), it is by far the most important nutrient that vegans must be concerned with. In fact, B12 deficiency is very common in vegans. Vegan diets are lower in vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12. The EPIC- Oxford study suggested that vegans have an increased risk of bone fractures over meat eaters and vegetarians, likely because of lower dietary calcium intake.Hence, eating a vegan diet may be good for health and may feature as a healthy diet. But that does not mean that one’s entire diet has to be on vegan to be in excellent health. We should focus on balanced nutritional plan rather than a particular diet plan.

6 Healthy Lifestyle Foods You Must Include in Your Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
There are wide varieties of healthy lifestyle foods to fight infection, boost energy and maintain healthy heart plus many more. Including such foods in regular diet combined with exercise may add years to your life span. So, stock up your kitchen with healthy foods and add them in your diet for rich nutrients such as antioxidants, fiber etc. that delivers more than just the taste. The following is the list of healthy lifestyle foods that must be included in your daily diet to boost your overall health and well-being:Garlic: It has antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties. Garlic also works within the body’s vital systems, such as the circulatory, digestive, and immunological, to promote detoxification, cleansing, lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system and healing. All in all, garlic helps promote good health.Oats: Nothing starts the day off better than a big bowl of warm oatmeal. Oats has many benefits, particularly for the heart, that makes it a smart choice among healthy lifestyle foods. Oatmeal contains a special strand of fiber called beta-glucan which reduces levels of bad cholesterol and protect your heart. Oats also boost the immune system. Because oatmeal is rich in fiber, eating it in the morning will help stabilize your blood sugar.Beans: The unique combination of fibers, carbohydrates and vital nutrients make beans a premium source of nutrition and healthy lifestyle foods. Beans are high in soluble fiber that helps reduce cholesterol. The lean protein in beans helps maintain and promote muscle while complex carbohydrates provide a sustained energy source. Beans are naturally low in fat which is helpful in weight loss.Yogurt: It has power-boosting protein and bone-building calcium. Yogurt is a great source of bone-building calcium, but its real strength lies in live beneficial bacteria, known as pro-biotic, that keeps down the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut. Eating yogurt could help with inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcers, and urinary tract infections, which makes it popular among various healthy lifestyle foods.Olive Oil: Include two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in your diet each day. Olive oil is beneficial to your health and well being. Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol leading to heart disease and blood pressure. Olive oil is also packed with antioxidants called phenols, which may protect artery walls from cholesterol build-up.Sprouts: They have always been very popular as healthy lifestyle foods. Sprouts are excellent sources of protein and contain a wide range of different nutrients that can help maintain good health. Beside the nutrients, they are also abundant in enzymes, which can keep our bodies remain healthy and fit. Another thing you will love about sprouts is how easy it is to digest this healthy food. Sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging.